Vermont men's basketball junior guard Trae Bell-Haynes sank the game-winning shot with 3.5 seconds remaining on the clock as the Catamounts advanced into the winner's bracket of the Gulf Coast Showcase with a 60-59 win over Wofford on Monday.
UVM improves to 4-1 overall and matches the best start through the first five games since the 2011-12 season. Wofford drops to 1-2 overall on the year.
Vermont used a balanced scoring attack to pick up the hard fought win. Payton Henson guided the Catamounts with a team-high 14 points and eight rebounds. Kurt Steidl added nine points while grabbing four rebounds off the glass. Cam Ward made a pair of shots from beyond the arc and one more from the free throw line for seven points. Anthony Lamb, Darren Payen, and Bell-Haynes all posted six points apiece.
Cameron Jackson reached a game-high 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting for the Terriers as Fletcher Magee followed with 12 points on the afternoon.
The game was back-and-forth nearly the whole way with 10 ties and 15 lead changes. The Catamounts dug an early six-point hole in the first half but quickly bounced back with layups from Henson and Lamb. With three minutes to go before the break, the teams traded baskets for the duration of the period as Wofford held a 31-30 lead at the break.
In the second half, Wofford opened the period with an early 9-4. Vermont countered with a 14-3 run to produce its largest lead of the afternoon at 48-43. UVM's defense held the Terriers without a field goal for five and half minutes during the stretch.
As the clock wound down under the two-minute mark, Cameron Jackson dropped in a layup from the lower block to give Wofford a 59-58 lead. After a pair of missed trips by both sides, Wofford had a shot at extending the lead but Magee missed a three-point attempt with 13 seconds left on the clock.
With nine seconds left to go, Bell-Haynes pushed the ball up the floor and drove to the paint. On the drive, Bell-Haynes lofted a right-handed floater and found nothing by nylon for the game-winning score.
Vermont faces Hofstra on Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the semifinal round of the Gulf Coast Showcase. All UVM men's basketball games can be heard on ESPN 101.3 FM and online at 1013ESPN.com with Sam Hyman on the call. The entire tournament will be streamed on the BD Global YouTube Channel. Tickets are available for purchase through TicketMaster.com. Visit UVMathletics.com for Catamount news, scores, and schedule updates at the Gulf Coast Showcase.
Courtesy: UVM Athletics
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